The Salmon Arm Synergy Club Basketball Program is described by Aaron Smith, one of the founders, as “a way to promote basketball and meet the competitive nature of the sport in the province in our town.”
Smith has been involved with coaching and teaching since 1994, starting the Synergy program to encourage students to participate in high-level sports and support athletic growth outside the school sports season.
The Synergy club, outside of basketball training, also teaches student athletes about the importance of giving back. Their fundraising efforts have allowed Shuswap Middle School students to access a free basketball program.
“I was inspired by what my coaches taught us, about giving back,” Smith says. “The sport has given so much to us outside of the game that we owe it not just to the sport and other people but even to ourselves.”
While Synergy is a club team and separate from school sports, Smith says part of their goal is to build skills and team bonds for the fall school basketball season.
“Our focus is the school season, so spring is about us coming together and synergizing,” he says. “The word synergy is about the whole being more important than the individual, and we want to focus on the team and getting the team better.”
The Synergy Club kicked off its 2018 Spring season with two weekends of tournament games in Penticton. On April 21, coach Cristie Jansen traveled with her U14 girls team to compete in the Lake City Girls Tournament. It’s been four years since Synergy has had a girls team as part of their club program, now 16 girls from Grades 5 through 8 are committed to the program and the club hopes to see the girls program grow and become more popular. At the Lake City tournament, the U14 girls won one and lost three games and competed well in all of their games. Their tournament schedule will continue this spring with tournaments in Kelowna, Kamloops, and Vancouver.
On the weekend of April 28, Synergy took the boys teams to Penticton to compete in the Lake City Tournament. Boys in Grades 5 through 11 playing on Synergy’s U13, U14, U15 and U17 teams, competed in the three-day tournament. All teams did exceptionally well and competed hard in their first tournament of the spring season.
In the end, Synergy’s U17 team won their side of the tournament and went undefeated.
Smith says, “it was good, the competition was perfect for us to start out. Our guys played really well, we focused mainly on our core values and the guys played really well together, enjoyed competing and we had a great weekend.”
Synergy’s next action takes place in Kamloops May 5 at the Thompson Rivers University Boys Tournament.
Once again, Synergy will be travelling with its U13, U14, U15 and U17 boys teams to compete in the tournament.